Sec 2800.2 of the California Vehicle Code criminalizes the act of reckless fleeing or attempt to elude a peace officer. The following facts are the elements of the crime of felony reckless evasion:
The accused had willfully evaded an officer;
The accused had done the act with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others;
While the first element is a criminal act in itself, the addition the quality of willful or wanton disregard. This means that the said act was committed intentionally, where the actions present a substantial and unjustifiable risk or harm and there is a clear intentional ignorance of that said risk.
This criminal act is considered as a general felony but depending on the criminal history of the accused and the specific facts of the incident, the said crime can be charged either as a felony or misdemeanor offense.
As a misdemeanor offense, the prison time imposable is between six months and one year in county prison and payment of a fine between $1,000 to $10,000. As a felony offense, then the imposable penalty would be between sixteen months, two or three years in state prison and payment of the same fine. In addition, the courts may order the impounding of the vehicle for up to thirty days and/or suspension or restriction of one’s driving privileges in accordance with current probation laws in the state.
The crime of felony reckless evasion is a serious matter in California. Should you be or know anyone undergoing this process, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.